Living in a city means that sometimes you feel the urge to get out and experience nature. It must have something to do with the fact that after 30 years living in Malta, even after nearly nine years in the Belgian capital, we still feel the urge to explore what Belgium and its neighbouring countries have to offer.
But when we run out of ideas or are too lazy to think, there is a place we turn to time and time again. Whether its winter, spring, summer or autumn, Chateau de la Hulpe and its surrounding land is a fantastic place to relax and enjoy peace and quiet.
The Domaine Solvay de la Hulpe extends across 227 hectares of greenery, woodland and ponds. It is a perfect place to go for a walk, to cycle, to take children for a picnic or to lose yourself in the serenity of this Natura 2000 side which is also considered as an important heritage site in Wallonia.
You are likely to be impressed any season you go. One tip, if you want to avoid the crowds then go either during the week or else in the morning. Most people end up going there in the afternoons even though it still remains extremely pleasant.
Apart from the walks and nature, the grounds also house over five hundred works of famous Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon. Just follow the signs to Folon Foundation and you will find the splendid collection in the farm of the castle of La Hulpe. There are more than forty years of his creations.
This is really an inspiring museum which I highly recommend visiting. Note it is closed on Mondays like most museums in Belgium.
Just outside the museum is a bistro with the most amazing views of uninterrupted countryside. However, don’t expect to eat well here. The choice on the menu is very limited. But if you head there after lunch and are lucky to have gone on a nice day, then you can sit on the terrace and have a superb view while enjoying a Belgian beer or coffee.
If you want to eat somewhere close then follow this link to my blog post on Lac to Genval.